Blogs

Do Results-Only Work Environments Really Work?

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Guest blog post by Abby Perkins, Managing Editor of the Talent Tribune blog on SoftwareProviders.com

ROWE, or results-only work environment, is one of the latest buzzwords in employee management. Proponents say it makes employees happier and more productive. Those who oppose it argue that it’s simply a form of delegation, and lacks the benefit of close supervision. But what is a results-only work environment – and does it really work?

Understanding the Results-Only Work Environment

Many workplaces base employee compensation and evaluation on the idea that workers should be paid for their time. Under this theory, time is equivalent to output – and the employees that are tied to their desks or workstations from 9 to 5 (or longer) are the most productive.

This model works fine in factories, retail stores, hospitals and other establishments where tasks are both location-specific and visible. But many modern workplaces don’t look like that. Knowledge-based work – think marketing, advertising, or engineering – is invisible and location-neutral. Proponents of ROWE argue that these types of employees should be paid – and evaluated – for the results they accomplish, not the time they spend at work.

How it Began: the Best Buy Experience

ROWE was launched in 2003 by two Best Buy employees, Jody Thompson and Cali Ressler. Fed up with traditional HR practices, Thompson and Ressler came up with a new way to manage knowledge workers. Instead of worrying about time clocks or time spent at desks, managers set performance goals. As long as goals were met, employees could work wherever, whenever, and however they wanted. There was no set workday, and no mandatory meetings.

Despite some initial resistance, ROWE was policy de rigueur for many Best Buy departments by 2005. Ressler and Thompson claim that during that time, those departments experienced a 41 percent increase in productivity. However, Best Buy’s experiment with ROWE ended when a new CEO, Hubert Joly, took over in 2012.

Joly says he dropped the program to get more employees into the office to collaborate on ways to improve the business. The company’s performance had been flagging since the economic downturn in 2008, and improved after Joly’s arrival.

Now, Best Buy is back to an “all hands on deck” business model. But that doesn’t mean ROWE is out of the picture elsewhere. Ressler and Thompson went on to consult with and implement ROWE in many different businesses. Since then, ROWE has shown up in some surprising places — and the business world has learned a lot more about results-only work environments.

ROWE is:

  • An opportunity to be paid and evaluated based on performance, not time.
  • A system for defining work and setting goals.
  • A team effort. ROWE requires teamwork and total commitment to stay on track.
  • An opportunity for innovation. When people stop punching a clock, they find ways to work more efficiently.

ROWE is Not:

  • Flex time, or simply another way of tracking employee hours. ROWE doesn’t care how long anyone works, as long as work gets done.
  • Free time. Each worker has goals that must be achieved, regardless of when or how long they work.
  • Another form of micro-management. Managers won’t always know where their employees are or what they’re doing. But they will know if goals are being met.

The Result:

According to case studies by CultureRX, Thompson and Ressler’s consulting business, companies that implement ROWE can expect an increase in growth and in employee satisfaction. Employees will be happier, healthier and more productive. Teams will innovate and create new ways of doing things — even new products.

What Industries Benefit From ROWE?

ROWE is used in many knowledge-based industries. Here are just a few examples:

  • Accounting: The Garabedian Group, an accounting firm, recently moved from hourly billing to fee-for-service.
  • Manufacturing: Dynatronix, a manufacturing company, redesigned its production system to accommodate ROWE. The result? A 20 percent increase in on-time deliveries and a 40 percent decrease in production time for their biggest product.
  • Consulting: Retail consulting firm JL Buchanan has been able to cut costs and increase revenue using ROWE.

Other companies using ROWE include GAP, Yum Brands, Dixie Iron Works and Ripple IT.

However, ROWE is difficult – even impossible – to implement in some workplace settings. An example? Retail sales. Employees can’t work on their own schedule when they need to be present to mind the store, work the registers, and provide customer service. Other examples include emergency medical services, hotel front desks and restaurants. Any workplace or work function that requires employees to be in a set place at a set time is unlikely to benefit from ROWE.

The bottom line? ROWE isn’t for every company, or for every manager. However, it’s had great results in a number of industries. Where it does fit, productivity and profitability climb.

How much is a warm chair worth to your business? Would you ever try out ROWE in your business?

Abby Perkins in the managing editor of the Talent Tribune blog on SoftwareProviders.com

5 Guest Speakers Booked for Upcoming Outside-In® Talent Seminars!

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At the Outside-In® Companies, we host a monthly series of seminars, which feature stories about people, talent best practices, company culture, and local business successes. Our goal is to facilitate the mutual learning and sharing of best practices in Talent Leadership.

After hosting a successful talent seminar with a local guest speaker in July, we sought out to connect with local business and HR leaders to see if they wanted to share their story in an Outside-In® forum. We are excited to announce that we have booked 5 guest speakers (one being a duo!) for our upcoming talent seminars.

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

We launched the Outside-In Talent Seminar Series in January of this year and plan to continue growing the program throughout 2015. Next year we will host up to 10 talent seminars in locations from Wilmington to Philly. They will be held either in the morning before your work day starts or in the early evening. We’ll add to the schedule, which can be found at www.OutsideinCompanies.com/events, as the dates and speakers are confirmed. All seminars will be submitted for potential HRCI credit. We would be delighted to have you participate in our future seminars.

Are You a Sharing Leader?

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Being a leader in today’s work environment has it’s share of obstacles. The culture of your company directly impacts how you lead and what you do in your role in every circumstance. For example, let’s take the topic of communication and your responsibility relative to cascading messages. Often times leaders maintain the proverbial upper hand by distributing information (or frankly misinformation) to suit their personal goals and objectives. This does not have to be a nefarious or illegal thing by the way. Sometimes as leaders we are simply overly competitive or selfish. Being the leader that always has to win means you’re going to do anything you need to do to come out on top. That often means controlling what you know. Selfish leaders? Well, they are probably just protecting their job and paycheck. Everybody is doing it right? So what’s wrong with it? It’s like a teenager explaining staying out too late or a bad test grade, “…but Tommy is allowed to.”

Today’s world is about information. That’s why it’s called the Information Age. Why not empower today’s knowledge worker with as much as possible? Why not make it a point to share as much as you can? A group perspective is often more right and more powerful than the views of a handful or the privileged.

To be a sharing leader one must:

  1. ID-100161829Be clear on what their role is as a leader. Is it your job to share what you hear and learn in terms of strategy, vision, or simple business updates with your team? If you’re hearing these messages and you don’t see them in newsletter, town halls, or email updates then I bet it is part of your role. Be a messenger. There is good power in doing this well!
  2. Share it all. Don’t hold back an inch. Employees can sense when your holding back and not sharing. Trust them. They can handle the truth. Of course there is confidentiality. This is not what I am talking about. Stop protecting. Quit isolating staff from business news they can help with. They might even view the problems of the business as interesting new projects to tackle to grow their resumes!
  3. Use all means as possible. Some messages are tactical. Some are strategic. Some serious and some not so much. Pick your forum. Have huddles every day for daily sticks. Do a weekly discussion for businesses. Have a phone call or town hall meeting when you’re dealing with longer term updates or when you want to get some real engagement and feedback.

The key is to make communication a part of your daily leadership plan. It will always take a back seat to your inbox and to do’s if you let it!

5 Staffing Industry Myths Debunked

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Employers and job seekers alike sometimes shy away from using staffing agencies based off pre-conceived notions and false information. Using a staffing company to find your next job or to hire your next employee can be a rewarding experience that saves both time and money. We gathered up five of the most common myths about staffing companies to set the record straight.

Myth #1: Temporary staffing agencies only hire temporary employees.

False. Many temporary staffing agencies offer several other kinds of employment. Along with temporary employment, we also fill part-time, full-time, direct hire, and contract-to-hire positions.

Myth #2: Staffing agencies only hire entry-level positions.

False.  Many employers and job seekers have this mindset and it is very far from the truth! We hire anything from entry-level to management and even vice president positions.

Myth #3: You can’t hire A-players through staffing companies.

False. Staffing firms conduct extensive research, background checks, pre-screens, and interviews to ensure that you and your company are presented with the most qualified candidates. At Placers, we also put an emphasis on securing a cultural fit between employer and employee so both sides have their needs fulfilled.

Myth #4: If an employer likes a temp employee, they won’t be able to hire them full time.

False. Staffing agencies encourage employers to hire temp workers full time (also known as temp-to-hire)! Once a temporary employee has completed their assignment hours, the employer is more than welcome to onboard them full time.

Myth #5: Using a staffing agency will cost you a lot of money.

False. When employers use a staffing agency to find job candidates, they are expected to pay a fee for that service. However, the employer is saving both the time of devoting an internal recruiter to find candidates and the money of utilizing job boards and postings.

Don’t feed into all the hype! Are you an employer or a job seeker that has any questions about staffing services? We can help you. Please send your questions to icanhelpyou@MyPlacers.com.

5 Guest Speakers Booked for Upcoming Outside-In® Talent Seminars!

  by    0   0

2014-9-Talent-Seminar-Announcement

At the Outside-In® Companies, we host a monthly series of seminars, which feature stories about people, talent best practices, company culture, and local business successes. Our goal is to facilitate the mutual learning and sharing of best practices in Talent Leadership.

After hosting a successful talent seminar with a local guest speaker in July, we sought out to connect with local business and HR leaders to see if they wanted to share their story in an Outside-In® forum. We are excited to announce that we have booked 5 guest speakers (one being a duo!) for our upcoming talent seminars.

Mark your calendars for the following dates:

We launched the Outside-In Talent Seminar Series in January of this year and plan to continue growing the program throughout 2015. Next year we will host up to 10 talent seminars in locations from Wilmington to Philly. They will be held either in the morning before your work day starts or in the early evening. We’ll add to the schedule, which can be found at www.OutsideinCompanies.com/events, as the dates and speakers are confirmed. All seminars will be submitted for potential HRCI credit. We would be delighted to have you participate in our future seminars.

Two Paragraph Perspectives: What Do You Bring to the Party?

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Throughout the fall season of 2014, Barton Career Advisors will dedicate its industry pieces and blogging to a new series called Two Paragraph Perspectives. There is so much going on in our world and it is often difficult to consume an entire article, thought leadership piece, whitepaper, or news story. Our world communicates at lightning speed and most of that happens in 140 characters or less. For the previously mentioned reasons we will bring you key thoughts, insights, and questions in an easy to consume two paragraph format. Before the steam is finished rising off your morning coffee or tea you will be done reading our bi-weekly digest of all things career transition, personal brand management and outplacement best practices. We hope you are looking forward to this series written by our Founder and Managing Partner, Chris Barton.

Have you ever thought about what you bring to the party every day? Seriously. We all need to reflect on the value that we bring to our profession, our colleagues, and our industry. Now stop right there because you are already being led astray. I am confident that someone in your life has asked you a very similar question or has encouraged you to reflect, evaluate, and then act to increase your star power in your profession. The question is not wrong but the framing of the question most certainly points any bewildered individual in the wrong direction, just like a compass that has lost its true north.

A much better way of investigating your professional and personal worth is to evaluate the depth of influence you maintain with the people you have touched along your journey to this point. Relationships are nearly everything when it comes to growing as a human being. Forget about being a professional anything. I am confident that I read in some book somewhere that we should love one another. Focus on being a great human being who invests generously in others. Make a list of your core relationships: spouse, partner, friends, family, clergy, bosses and colleagues and go about asking them each where you stand with them and how you can get better. What you will learn will give you quite a few action items.